Mao Asada: A Little Girl With Big Dreams
At the tender age of 12, it was clear from this electrifying performance at the 2002 Japanese nationals that Mao Asada was destined for greatness.
A protégé of the great Machiko Yamada (who coached Midori Ito to international glory a decade earlier), Asada's technical ability is breathtaking even at this young age.
Watch particularly for her opening triple Axel attempt and a rare triple-triple-triple jump combination, something only a few men dare to try even today.
Asada is wearing one of Ito's costumes and her peppy music only highlights her joy. The youthful grace of Asada's performance is captivating; she dances like a child enjoying a wonderful adventure.
One of the only women in the World to include eight triple jumps in a competitive program, Asada attacked this program with a confidence that belied her age.
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir: Rising to the Occasion
By the time they entered the 2005 World Junior Championships on literal home turf in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada's Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir (then 15 and 17, respectively) had already been dancing together as a team for eight years.
The internationally experienced teenagers were also making waves at the senior level. In 2006, they narrowly missed earning a berth on Canada's Olympic team by mere decimals.
A rare departure from the lyrical and romantic balletic style they would eventually become known for, this sharp and sultry Tango was created by their Russian coaches, Marina Zoueva and Igor Shpliband.
Given their long-standing partnership, it was no surprise that Virtue and Moir handled the demanding and complex choreography with ease.